My Justice

My Justice highlights the stories of individuals who work in the field of international justice or who have been affected by it and asks what does justice mean to them. 

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“Were you tortured? Yes, sure”: In conversation with Syrian activist Bassam al-Ahmad

Monday, July 24, 2017 - 09:59

More than 465,000 people are either dead or missing as a result of the 6-year conflict in Syria. Rights activist Bassam al-Ahmad is trying to ensure that as many of those individuals as possible get a chance to tell their stories. Even though he was at one time in serious danger of becoming part of the deadly statistics himself, when his work chronicling the ravages of the civil war earned him a stint in one of Syria’s notorious prisons. This interview is published here as part of Justice Hub’s #MyJustice series.

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Jimena Reyes of FIDH: If the ICC wants to keep its legitimacy it has to open a preliminary examination in Mexico

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 13:25

What to do about a country that has experienced 200,000 murders and 32,000 disappearances over the last 10 years? According to a new report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), together with several Mexican human rights organisations, murders and disappearances within the northern state of Coahuila de Zaragoza are not "solely attributable to drug cartels". Rather state authorities have "committed crimes against humanity in undeniable collusion with the Zetas cartel", And, later, the NGOs say, "state authorities responsible for law enforcement directly committed crimes against humanity through their Special Forces". Presenting the report in The Hague, FIDH - with signatures from about 100 Mexican NGOs, urged the prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a preliminary examination.

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Bertha von Suttner: The inspiration behind the Nobel Peace Prize is getting her due

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 09:16

Why is it that women's voices appear so rarely when discussing the history of peace movements and international law? One academic is championing efforts to celebrate the extraordinary life of a giant of the peace movements of more than 100 years ago - Bertha von Suttner. . She was not only the first woman to be solely awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, she’s also widely credited for inspiring Alfred Nobel to include a prize for champions of peace among the prizes provided for in his will. A lifelong pacifist, Bertha also wrote several books that championed the cause of peace activists worldwide. At a time when women were expected to be seen and not heard, Bertha was recognised as an outspoken leader in the peace movement. Yet, despite her gender-defying achievements and intellectual contributions, Bertha has been given short shrift in the tellings of history.

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Justice dies in darkness

Monday, July 3, 2017 - 14:37

Truth, justice and democracy are fragile things. Few people understand this better than award-winning Bahraini journalist Nazeeha Saeed. Saeed was tortured by state officers during the Arab Spring after reporting on the death of a peaceful protestor at the hands of the police. A lesser person would have turned tail after such a traumatic experience but Saeed is made of tougher stuff.

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International law was designed to protect vulnerable refugees but we should do our part too

Monday, July 3, 2017 - 12:54

Much to the disappointment of human rights advocates, the American government is currently actively pursuing measures to reduce the number of refugees it admits from war-torn countries like Syria. For American human rights defenders like Christina Moreno, this is a low point in the country’s imperfect but exemplary human rights record.

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Justice has to address local needs and respect customs

Monday, July 3, 2017 - 11:06

Researcher Ruth Murambadoro firmly believes that justice is best applied when it has a local flavour. Having conducted extensive research in her native Zimbabwe, Ruth is skeptical that international justice is better than traditional African justice mechanisms at addressing the grievances of victims and affected communities.

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Everything you always wanted to know about the Permanent Court of Arbitration (but didn’t know who to ask)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 11:50

Despite being more than a hundred years old, not many people know much about the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) based in The Hague even though it deals with hundreds of cases every year. Justice Hub’s own Janet Anderson recently sat down with one of the foremost experts on the PCA, Prof Ricardo Abello Galvis, of the University del Rosario in Bogota Colombia, on the sidelines of the I Polyphonic Day on International Justice recently held in The Hague.

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Time for Africa’s voice to be heard in international arbitration

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 11:40

It’s time for a shake up in international arbitration. For too long, Africa and other regions of the world have punched below their weight on matters of continental and international arbitration. People like Senegalese Professor Makane Moïse Mbengue of the University of Geneva think it’s time things changed.

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Peaceful nations are all alike; every unstable nation is unstable in its own way

Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 17:08

By Janet Anderson

What makes one nation more peaceful or stable than the next? Steve Killelea, the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Economics and Peace believes that he has cracked the code that explains why some nations are more prone to instability than others. Killelea believes it all comes down to eight different elements which add up to contribute to a country’s “positive peace” score.

The elements are “a well-functioning government, low levels of corruption, strong business environment,...

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Lessons from the former Yugoslavia, Libya…and NASA’s Voyager 1

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 23:01

As a former legal officer for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Grant Dawson knows better than most the consequences when war erupts on a barbarous scale: “I went to detention centres where people were raped and tortured and killed in ways that you could not possibly imagine. You couldn't imagine it.”

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Emmanuel Kuza

There is a saying in Nigeria that "prevention is better than cure". This saying recaptures my understanding of this speech.

There is another saying that "justice is for the living". What this means is that whatever we regard as justice must be capable of preserving, securing or safeguarding life. This ought to be the preoccupation of the world today. All the commissions of inquiries, investigations, trials and even convictions after the destruction of lives and properties benefits only people that are alive. This means that the dead are left to take care of themselves (if that is even possible).

To prevent crisis governments and international organizations at all levels must be on high alert. From practical experience, it is the improper or lack of resolving simple disputes and disagreements that leads to the greatest wars that usually claim the lives of innocent people who may not even know or understand the origin of the crisis.

Individuals must adjust themselves, and make it their duty to actively participate or timeously report to security agencies, anything that is capable of breaching the peace in order to protect human life and properties, and prevent violent crimes from happening. This is the surest guarantee to world peace.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 07:06
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